Local MP Katy Clark has confirmed she will run for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party in Scotland.
Yesterday (October 31) the3towns.today reported speculation on a pro-Labour Party website, Labour Hame, suggesting Ms Clark was considering putting her name in the hat to replace the current deputy leader of ‘Scottish’ Labour, Anas Sarwar MP. At the time, the North Ayrshire & Arran MP had made no public comment on the subject.
However, this morning (November 1), Katy Clark said, “I have submitted a declaration to the Scottish Labour Party that I intend to stand for deputy leader and will be seeking nominations from colleagues over the weekend.”
Ms Clark praised outgoing leader Johann Lamont and Mr Sarwar, but added, “This is not about individuals. We must recognise that Scottish politics has changed and it can't be business as usual. The vast majority of people want a secure job, a decent home and access to good quality public services. This is prevented for too many by wealth being held in the hands of a minority. It is unacceptable in the 21st century that people have to queue at a foodbank to feed their children. These are the issues I will be addressing throughout the campaign.”
Vacancies for leader and deputy leader of the Scottish party were created when Johann Lamont MSP announced her resignation last week.
In an interview with the Daily Record newspaper, Johann Lamont was scathing in her criticism of Ed Miliband and the Labour Party leadership in London, saying they are “dinosaurs” who fail to see “Scotland has changed forever”. Ms Lamont also accused the London-based leadership of treating Scotland like a “branch office”.
To compound a bad week for Labour, new opinion polls showed support for the party collapsing in Scotland, while increasing numbers of people are backing the SNP. One of the polls, conducted by IPSOS-MORI, had the SNP on 52% with Labour down to 23%. If those figures were translated into actual votes at next year’s UK General Election, Labour would lose all but four of its seats in Scotland to the SNP – including North Ayrshire & Arran, which is currently represented by Katy Clark.